NCAA Game Summary - Michigan State vs. Georgia|
(Monday, January 2nd)
Final Score: (12) Michigan State 33, (18) Georgia 30 (3-OT)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Michigan State's Dan Conroy made a pair of field
goals in a triple-overtime thriller, lifting the 12th-ranked Spartans to a
33-30 victory over the 18th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl.
Michigan State got the ball to start the first overtime period, but Kirk
Cousins was intercepted by Bacarri Rambo on the third play.
Georgia ran the football twice before Blair Walsh tried a 42-yard field goal
to win the game. The ball sailed wide right to keep the game going.
The Bulldogs started with the ball in the second OT, but lost five yards due
to a false start penalty. Walsh redeemed himself by making a 47-yard field
goal to give Georgia a 30-27 lead.
The Spartans responded with a 35-yard Conroy field goal to send the
contest into a third overtime.
Michigan State moved the ball to the six-yard line. Faced with a 3rd-and-2,
Keshawn Martin dropped a pass. Following a delay of game penalty, Conroy made
a 28-yard field goal for a 33-30 edge.
A big sack by William Gholston set up a 4th-and-14 for the Bulldogs on the 29.
Walsh's 47-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Anthony White to end the
The Spartans (11-3), who lost 42-39 to Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Ten
Conference Championship Game, recorded their first bowl victory in the Mark
Dantonio era. It was Michigan State's first bowl win since a victory over
Fresno State in the 2001 Silicon Valley Football Classic.
"We found a way. It wasn't perfect, but we certainly showed character," said
The Spartans quarterback completed 27-of-50 passes for 300 yards, one
touchdown and three interceptions for Michigan State, which appeared in a bowl
game for a school-record fifth consecutive year.
Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 17 times for 48 yards and two scores. He also
caught five passes for 39 yards.
Aaron Murray connected on 20-of-32 passes for 288 yards, two touchdowns and
two interceptions for the Bulldogs (10-4), who dropped a 42-10 decision to
undefeated LSU in the SEC Championship Game.
Tavarres King caught six passes for 205 yards and a touchdown for Georgia,
which appeared in its 47th bowl game (26-18-3).
"We didn't execute the way that we should have at times, but credit Michigan
State," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "We had a chance late in the game
to get a first down and then the game would have been over. We hurt ourselves
and didn't execute the game plan the way we should have at times. [Murray] had
to throw the ball a little quicker than he wanted to, but credit MSU defense
for coming out and pressuring him. Michigan State came prepared to win this
game and earned every bit of the win."
Michigan State's first offensive play of the game ended in a bad way. Martin
was tackled in his own end zone to give Georgia an early 2-0 edge.
The next points in the contest didn't come until late in the second quarter.
Murray threw a bomb down the middle of the field for King, who caught the ball
and ran into the end zone for an 80-yard score. That made it 9-0 with three
The Spartans followed with a three-and-out on offense. Brandon Boykin took the
ensuing punt 92 yards for a touchdown and a 16-0 margin. It was the longest
play in the history of the Outback Bowl.
In the third, Michigan State got back in the game after Murray was intercepted
by Darqueze Dennard near midfield. B.J. Cunningham and Brian Linthicum caught
passes of 12 and 17 yards, respectively, to move the ball into the red zone.
Bell capped the nine-play drive with an eight-yard TD run. A successful two-
point conversion cut the gap to 16-8.
Dennard came up with another big pick later in the period. He returned this
one 38 yards for a touchdown. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at
16-14 with under 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
Shawn Williams picked off Cousins early in the fourth, which led to a 32-yard
Walsh field goal.
Linthicum took a WR screen 50 yards down the left sideline on the first play
of the ensuing drive. That set up Keith Nichol's seven-yard TD catch with
under 8 1/2 minutes to go in regulation. A failed two-point conversion kept
Michigan State ahead by one, 20-19.
But King made a big 53-yard catch down the right sideline for Georgia. Three
plays later, Boykin caught a pass over the middle of the field for a 13-yard
score. A successful two-point conversion gave the Bulldogs a 27-20 edge.
The Spartans got the ball back at their own 15 with 1:55 to play. Nichol and
Cunningham made catches of 15 and 22 yards, respectively, to move the ball
past midfield. A 20-yard scramble by Cousins put the ball inside the red zone.
Martin seemed to score with 34 seconds to go, but his knee came down at the
one for an 11-yard gain. Bell rumbled into the end zone two plays later to
make it 27-27 with 19 ticks left on the clock.
The Bulldogs lead the all-time series with the Spartans, 2-1...Michigan State
made its 22nd bowl appearance (8-14)...Walsh set the SEC and Georgia record
for most career points with 412, breaking the mark of Georgia's Billy Bennett
01/02 19:30:25 ET